The winning design by the Ibola Lethu Consortium created the Moses Mabhida Stadium. With its iconic “arch of triumph”, the stadium is an engineering feat that provides Durban with a defining landmark to match the Eiffel Tower, Sydney’s Opera House or The London Eye.
Importantly, the multi-disciplinary nature of the stadium’s design, permits it to host a wide range of sporting and cultural events. Visually inspiring – and comprising of more than a hundred columns – the facade of Moses Mabhida Stadium allows for natural ventilation and creates an incredible sense of space every bit as striking as the stadium’s famous arch.
Voted the most popular stadium in South Africa in an online poll, Moses Mabhida host 7 FIFA World Cup matches, including a semi-final attended by the likes of Paris Hilton, Leonoardo DiCaprio and John Travolta, in 2010.
The success of this stadium is well documented, not only via the 27 awards received to date but more importantly, in just two years the highest level of utilisation for the new stadia in South Africa can be claimed by Durban’s stadium.
- The stadium is named after a giant of a man, Moses Mbheki Mncane Mabhida, who was one of those who helped to forge and maintain the powerful United Front that eventually saw the creation of a democratic and non-racial South Africa
- Its design allows for natural ventilation and creates an incredible sense of space every bit as striking as the stadium’s famous arch
- The shape of the iconic arch was inspired by the “Y shape” on the South African flag
- The different levels of the stadium are supported by 1 750 columns and 216 raking beams that provide the main support to the seating panels
- The roof is made of 46 000 m² of Teflon-coated glass fibre membrane that produces a translucent glow when the stadium is lit up
- The roof is attached to the arch by 95 mm-diametre steel cables
- The 350 m long free-span steel arch weighs 2 600 tonnes (the equivalent of 2 600 average cars)
- The grand centre arch, 106 m high, is not just a design feature. The SkyCar takes visitors up to its highest point, where they can get out and enjoy breathtaking, panoramic views of the city and ocean
- There are 120 luxury suites and business clubs, providing 7 500 VIP seats
- The colour arrangement of the seating was conceptualised to look like the sea flowing onto the beach
- Each seat is spacious and comfortable, providing a clear line-of-sight to the pitch
- The usual stadium seating capacity is 56 000 which can be up-scaled to 85 000 for major events, such as the Olympic Games